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July 2013 Kim: Now we can begin to imagine a world free from poverty

STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

· World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, spoke of his vision for shared prosperity with academics and students in Peru.

· Kim highlighted the Bank’s commitment to improve the quality of education, especially in rural Peru.

· While meeting Padre Gustavo Gutierrez, founder of Liberation Theology, Kim remembered his early days working to end poverty and promote social justice.

REPORT:
World Bank Annual Report 2013

 

 

Annual Report 2013

WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2013
Jobs Drive Development

WDR 2013

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News

AZERBAIJAN

May 23, 2013 - WB: Azerbaijan Psses Incredible Way Of Development

AZnews

By Gulgiz Dadashova

Despite the global financial crisis, Azerbaijan continues to show high economic indicators and achieve targets.

Azerbaijan demonstrates all the signs of sustained economic growth and has great potential, WB Vice-President For External Affairs Cyril Muller said while speaking at the 11th annual conference of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) opened in Baku on May 23.

The conference, which discusses such issues as international development and the development of specific countries, involve over 180 MPs from 70 countries.

Muller said that he is well aware of the past that Azerbaijan passed since achieving independence. "I have known Baku for many years. I was one of the first representatives of the World Bank who arrived in the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan has passed along an incredible route of development since gaining independence," he said. Muller went on to say that events such as today's conference allow parliamentarians worldwide to discuss current problems and try to find a way to solve them. These discussions promote economic growth and comprehensive development, he said.

Addressing the event, Parliamentary Network Chair Alain Destexhe apprised the economic indicators of Azerbaijan. He said that fair distribution of natural resources and their effective use not gives grounds to worry about the country's future. The poverty rate of Azerbaijan is one of the most successful in the world. Destexhe said given the evidence of a reduction in poverty, one can see great opportunities for the country's inclusion in the list of sustainable and high-middle-income countries.

In turn, Chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Elman Rustamov said that the Parliamentary Network of the WB and IMF has become an important platform that improves the effectiveness of international organizations in terms of the formation of new strategic approaches to global problems. The Azerbaijani government attaches great importance to cooperation with international financial institutions, in particular the IMF and WB, Rustamov added.

These institutions have always backed Azerbaijan in the process of transition to a market economy, stabilization of the economic and provision of development. "We can surely say that there have been achieved significant results in this area," Rustamov said. Rustamov went on to say that over the past period there was ensured a rapid transition to a market economy, sustainable development and stability, and poverty was reduced as well.

An effective anti-crisis strategy helped protect Azerbaijan from the 2007-2010 crisis and the country's economy showed a growth of 20 percent, Rustamov said adding that Azerbaijan can be seen a new interesting experience in management of natural resources.

"Over the past 10 years, Azerbaijan has made a major transformation, the economy has stabilized and tripled, the volume of per capita income reached $10,000. The economic stability has been ensured and kept in the country for already 15 years. The weighted budget, low external debt, low inflation and high amounts of foreign exchange reserves are the basis of this stability, " he said.

He said the special weight of external debt to GDP ratio is only eight percent and the country's strategic currency reserves 70 percent of GDP.

Rustamov said the problem of poverty, which is still characteristic for many countries, has been solved just in one decade.

The poverty rate in Azerbaijan, which now stands at 6 percent, is almost four times less than the global average of 21 percent, he added.

Currently, Azerbaijan is on the way of forming a strong diversified economy, Rustamov said.

The conference also touched upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Head of the Association for Civil Society Development in Azerbaijan Elman Suleymanov urged the participants to raise this issue at the international level.

"For 20 years there have been no positive results in the process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution. But the Azerbaijani people will never accept the occupation of their land," he said.

Suleymanov said that contrary to the principles of justice, no international organization has imposed economic sanctions on Armenia because of its occupation policy, and it even more unleashes the leadership of this country.

May 3, 2013 - The World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors last discussed the joint IBRD/IDA/IFC Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Azerbaijan on October 21, 2010. The EDs discussed the new CPS which provides the framework for the World Bank Group’s assistance to Azerbaijan for 2011-2014

LENDING: Azerbaijan : Lending By Volume (Millions Of US Dollars)

AZ Lending

The Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Azerbaijan for FY11-14 has been prepared under the circumstances of a rapid increase in income and decrease in poverty, but also the global economic crisis from which the country has emerged relatively well. But the drivers of growth and poverty reduction that served the country well in the recent past may not be available in the future, and the post-crisis world offers new challenges. This CPS therefore focuses on those areas where development needs are likely to be the strongest, Government demand and commitment is visible, and the Bank's advantage is clear. In this context, the CPS proposes a two pillar strategy of: (i) building a competitive non-oil economy; and (ii) strengthening social and municipal services; with a strong cross-cutting theme of governance and anticorruption. The strategy is designed to channel funds in the most effective and prudent manner but is not without risks. The largest risks are associated with: (i) social and political economy challenges as Azerbaijan moves to a new more advanced stage of a competitive and diversified upper middle-income economy, (ii) progress in improving institutional capacity being slower than needed for increasingly more sophisticated governance requirements, (iii) implementation of existing portfolio, (iv) global economic uncertainties, and finally (v) regional security issues. Key elements of the CPS that will help to manage and moderate these risks are: better calibration to client demands and capacity, stronger emphasis on analytical services, faster implementation of the existing portfolio, and cross-cutting filter of governance.

KAZAKHSTANApril 8, 2013 - Kazakhstan: Sharpening Competitiveness and Modernizing Institutions

Over the past decade, Kazakhstan has built a record of strong macroeconomic management and a rules-driven fiscal framework, strengthened public management and the business climate, shifted resources toward social services and critical infrastructure, and started addressing environmental problems. The World Bank Group supported these outcomes by focusing on investment operations (15 new investment operations during 2005–12) and knowledge services (25–30 analytical and advisory activities per year since 2003).

Challenge
Kazakhstan’s development objective is to join the ranks of the 30 most developed countries by 2050. Its long-term vision focuses on economic diversification to move away from natural resource dependence and toward more balanced growth, and social modernization away from social disparity and toward more inclusive growth. The successful implementation of Kazakhstan’s development agenda requires addressing several key challenges.

Solution
The World Bank Group program in Kazakhstan supports the implementation of the government’s core development priorities of competitiveness, improved governance through higher standards and accountability in public service delivery, and environmental protection. The program interlinks knowledge interventions with sequenced products in a multiyear framework to maximize impact. It also targets areas of lagging performance, as revealed by the Bank’s assessment tools, country-grown strategies, or international comparative analysis. A key instrument to support the government’s program is the multiyear programmatic Joint Economic Research Program (JERP), aimed at bringing in international experience and building up the capacity for adopting knowledge transfer. The JERP is complemented by selective investment projects in strategic high-impact areas. To ensure successful results from the infrastructure projects, an emphasis is put on governance and institutional arrangements that strengthen capacity and accountability for public services and promote an environment more conducive to results.
CPS2013

The Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for 2013–17 is aligned with the government’s core development priorities outlined in the Kazakhstan Development Strategy until 2020, and supports the country’s long-term objective of joining the top 30 developed countries by 2050.

The Bank’s CPS for 2013–17 is aligned with the government’s core development priorities outlined in the Kazakhstan Development Strategy until 2020, and supports the country’s long-term objective of joining the top 30 developed countries by 2050. The CPS emphasizes progress in the following broad areas of engagement: (i) improving competitiveness and fostering job creation, (ii) strengthening governance and public service delivery, and (iii) ensuring environmentally sustainable development. In each of the strategic CPS themes, key advisory activities are underway, mainly in a programmatic structure. An indicative lending program envelope for the first four years would be expected to total about US$2 billion (plus the mobilization of counterpart funds from the government), allocated to priority areas to advance institutional development and increase access to key public services. In accordance with the government’s preferences, all IBRD lending is foreseen in the form of investment projects. The CPS holds out the possibility of extending program-for-results financing in view of the capacity needs and strong results orientation of the investment programs, or deploying development policy operations to counter external shocks.

World Bank Group operations in Kazakhstan have produced the following key results:

  • impact of the economic crisis mitigated while credibility of the newly introduced oil fund management was maintained, avoiding fiscally risky general bailout strategies in the banking sector;
  • overall Doing Business ranking improved from 74 in 2010 to 49 in 2013;
  • neutrality and simplicity of the taxation system increased through the adoption of a new tax code in 2009 and a new taxpayer service in 2008, simplifying reporting forms and implementing risk management in tax administration;
  • anticorruption efforts strengthened through the elimination of administrative barriers in business licensing (reduced by 30 percent in 2011);
  • insolvency regime improved for the speedier resolution of bankruptcy cases;
  • framework established to improve the national statistical system to inform the government’s decision-making process, supported by advisory services (since 2008) and by a capacity-building operation (launched in 2012);
  • accountability of the extractive industries increased through implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) (103 companies in 2006 to 167 companies in 2011);
  • performance, efficiency, and responsiveness of the health care system increased through: (i) health network master plans in 14 regions of Kazakhstan, (ii) a network of medicine information call centers in all 16 regions, and (iii) a streamlined food safety system;
  • national education strategy enhanced by providing advisory services toward evidence-based decision making and a national entrance exam system;
  • transport connectivity improved by upgrading about 700 kilometers along the Western Europe–Western China International Transit Corridor;
  • reliable and cost-effective electricity supply improved by upgrading and modernizing the country’s power transmission systems, increasing the volume of electricity transfer from generating plants to markets by 92 percent and reducing transmission losses by 16 percent;
  • agricultural productivity increased between 12 and 200 percent by rehabilitating deteriorating irrigation systems and diversifying into nontraditional farming;
  • over 140,000 hectares of grassland and pastures restored after degradation from wheat cultivation, increasing the potential for livestock breeding;
  • forests rehabilitated and land degradation trends reversed by planting about 30,000 hectares in Irtysh pine forest and 40,000 hectares on Dry Aral Seabed since 2006;
  • the availability of water for productive purposes improved, including irrigated agriculture, fisheries, and industry, and the Northern Aral Sea revived;
  • access to safe and affordable water in the Nura river basin increased by removing 2 million tons of historic mercury contamination from the river banks, beds, and flood plains;
  • gas flaring legislative framework and institutional capacity improved, leading to a threefold reduction in gas flaring.

As of December 31, 2012, the lending portfolio of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in Kazakhstan consisted of 12 active projects with total commitments of US$3.6 billion in various sectors, including transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, environment, and public and private sector development. The IBRD portfolio is increasingly directed at institutional reform. In addition to lending, the IBRD provides extensive advisory services to the Government of Kazakhstan through the cofinanced JERP, which provides policy analysis, strategic planning expertise, and good practice options for economic and social development reform. JERP financing has grown from US$1 million a year since its inception in FY03 to over US$4.5 million in FY13. The JERP for FY13 comprises 28 interrelated analytical and advisory assistance activities, focusing on the government’s strategic priorities in the growth agenda: public finance management, social modernization, productivity and competitiveness, and a safe environment.

As of December 31, 2012, the total committed portfolio of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Kazakhstan amounted to US$379 million, with 10 clients in financial markets, agribusiness, retail, construction materials, and the railway sector. In line with the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), the IFC strategy in Kazakhstan focuses on improving the infrastructure, strengthening the financial sector, and supporting economic diversification and competitiveness. In addition to direct investments, IFC is providing advisory services to improve corporate governance, help the government structure public-private partnerships, and bring food safety standards to international levels.

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KYRGYZ REPUBLIC

April 16, 2013 - Kyrgyz Republic: Supporting Stability and Social Protection
Providing assistance in the aftermath of a political crisis

The program helped the Kyrgyz government implement policies to strengthen governance, particularly in the energy and financial sectors, and support families affected by the June 2010 social unrest. The government helped improve the transparency and accountability of the energy sector by establishing a Supervisory Council, with private sector and civil society participation. The financial sector was stabilized through support to the central bank. Financial support was also provided to conflict-affected families, and the targeting of social protection was improved.

Challenge
In April 2010, antigovernment demonstrations in the Kyrgyz Republic culminated in the removal of the president and the formation of a provisional administration. Political and social tensions in the south of the country escalated, resulting two months later in three days of social unrest. According to official data, over 300 people were killed and at least 2,500 injured, with many more internally displaced persons. Damage to infrastructure was estimated at about US$350 million, equivalent to 7 percent of GDP. Subsequently, after years of steady decline, poverty increased to 37 percent in 2011.

By October 2010, the provisional administration had drawn up a new constitution, laying the groundwork for a parliamentary democracy by shifting the balance of power to an elected prime minister. Addressing governance failures and perceptions of widespread corruption were seen as essential to avoid further unrest. The events of 2010 left the government weak and fragmented.

Solution
The World Bank Group quickly responded to the new government’s request for support through the Economic Recovery Support Operation (ERSO). The operation was designed to tackle both short- and medium-term concerns. In the short term, the operation bolstered government efforts to restore stability and safeguard social protection. The ERSO was also aligned with the government’s medium-term strategy of strengthening transparency and governance, restoring private sector confidence, and reviving the economy. In addition to the government’s draft strategy, the Bank drew upon analysis in the Joint Economic Assessment (JEA), prepared six months earlier by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank Group. During implementation, the World Bank provided technical assistance in several areas, including the financial and energy sectors and capacity building for economic management.

Results
Key outcomes include:

  • in public financial management, annual budgets are consolidated and now publicly available online;
  • in state property management, a parliamentary-debated, 2012–14 privatization plan for national assets was submitted in April 2012;
  • losses in the provision of domestic energy declined from 29.3 percent in 2009 to 24.3 percent in 2011, collection rates increased from 0.81 soms per kWh in 2009 to 0.94 soms per kWh in 2011, and transparency improved in revenue distribution and strategic decision making;
  • in mining, compliance with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) was attained: 46 and 57 companies reported under EITI in 2011 and 2012, respectively;
  • the financial sector was stabilized through support for the central bank’s takeover of the country’s main — and financially distressed — bank (AUB), preventing contagion;
  • in social protection, 497 families affected by the 2010 violence received a compensatory payment of 1 million soms (US$20,000); the number of “rights-based” categorical benefits was reduced from 35 to 29, improving the targeting of benefits to the poor; and the guaranteed monthly allowance for poor families with children was increased from 240 soms in 2009 to 350 soms in 2011. More than 120,000 families received this payment in 2012.

Bank Group Contribution
The ERSO was a one-year budget support program amounting to US$30 million of International Development Association (IDA) in 2011. It built on an earlier World Bank Group response to the crisis that included the US$70 million Emergency Recovery Program (ERP) approved in 2010. The ERSO provided essential budget support and helped rehabilitate the emergency energy infrastructure and the financing of high-priority emergency expenditures.

Partners
The ERSO was a solely World Bank-funded program. As the first development partner to actively engage with the new government, the World Bank also helped leverage other funds for the 2011 budget, including from the ADB (US$40 million), the IMF (US$30 million), and the European Union (€12 million). In addition, the World Bank was integral in convening the July 2010 multi-development partner conference, at which US$1.1 billion was pledged, including funding for the balance of the 2010 budget.

Moving Forward
The ERSO was designed as a one-year program, addressing short-term and immediate needs alongside medium-term structural reform policies. While the project did not commit to additional funding given the high-risk environment, future budget support programs were possible, should the momentum behind the reform agenda continue. Indeed, progress to date has led to a multi-year budget support operation due to be submitted to the Work Bank Board in mid-2013.

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POLAND

Warsaw: May 21, 2013 - Awaiting rebound in Europe, Poland stifles growth at home:

PLeco2013

Poland has turned its back on policies that once made it Europe's growth leader and is flirting with the recession that it alone among its emerging European Union peers has evaded through years of crisis.

It weathered the global turmoil after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 thanks to its 38-million-strong consumer market and a surge in infrastructure spending. But now the region's biggest economy has turned to budget tightening and the hope of rising exports, a shift that has flattened the economy and driven unemployment to a six-year high.

At the same time, monetary authorities have resisted calls from business leaders to quickly cut borrowing costs, pushing real interest rates to among the highest in the world. Despite warnings from economists that the economy could become bogged down for years to come, halting the dream of millions of Poles of catching up with Western living standards, policymakers are instead hoping help comes from abroad.

"We expect some improvement to come only in the second half of the year, under the condition that there is an acceleration in economic activity on Polish export markets," said Ludwik Kotecki, chief economist at the Finance Ministry. Kotecki's comment reflects a sharp change of tack from the policies of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in 2009-2011, when the government ran large budget deficits, funded a heavy public investments program and helped boost average living standards to 64 percent of the EU average from 56 percent.

But growth policies have now hit a wall of spending constraints, EU cash for infrastructure projects has to a large extent dried up - and critics say Tusk's plans to plug the deficit and revive public spending are taking far too long to implement.

CUTS

Poland's public debt at 56 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) is benign compared to the 85 percent EU average and the flood of cheap cash from the developed world is keeping Warsaw's debt costs at all-time lows. But public debt is close to breaching a threshold where local law would trigger a squeeze, while efforts to evade EU sanctions have backfired by slowing growth on the GDP side of the budget deficit calculation.

When the government first started cutting the budget, it was able to keep up investment with 20 billion euros ($26 billion) for roads and stadiums for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament it co-hosted with Ukraine, more than London spent on its Olympics. When the tournament ended, though, the spending stopped.

According to Eurostat, Poland cut public investment by 25 percent versus a year earlier at the end of 2012 - casting doubts on a plan to spend $200 billion to fight the slowdown. With pomp and fanfare, the government said last year that a new off-balance sheet investment body would leverage up and quickly pump some of those funds into projects. But its chief executive told Polish media on May 10 that it would chose the first only at the end of March next year at the earliest.

"The government could have thought about the public investment vehicle earlier, because now Poland faces a two-and-a-half-year gap in large infrastructure investment," said Rafal Benecki, chief economist at ING Bank Slaski.

Meanwhile Warsaw raised social contributions paid by firms and some taxes last year, pushing the economy into stagnation, while the deficit hit 3.9 percent of GDP, above the EU ceiling and way above the government target. "Such policy for sure did not support economic growth," said Grzegorz Maliszewski, chief economist at Bank Millennium.

POLICY STUMBLE

Poland's private sector debt burden is one of the smallest in the EU. But rising unemployment and regular flare-ups of the euro zone crisis have deterred consumers and firms from using their scope to borrow. Exports alone may not be enough to offset and plug the gap in spending and investment left by government cuts. Sales abroad were rising at an annual 3.2 percent at the end of 2012, while domestic demand was shrinking by 1.6 percent. "I spend less. I live more frugally. I had to learn it anew," said Tomasz, 33, a farrier who suspended his business a year ago due to weaker demand and rising costs.

The IMF urged the government last week to stop cutting public investment and said the central bank should cut rates "without delay", adding to a chorus of economists who say conservative monetary policy is part of the problem. The government is now working on a revamp of the pension system that may provide cash to raise spending from early next year. In the meantime the central bank may cut rates further from its current all-time low of 3 percent as soon as in June, but it will take time for the easing to have an impact.

"Saying and expecting that the monetary policy council will immediately secure Poland with economic growth is unjustified," one of the central bank policymakers, Jerzy Hausner, said on Saturday.

SERBIA

May 22, 2013 - Serbia Changes Railway Law to Allow Competition and Curb Losses

Serbia adopted a new railways law to enable competition and attract investment in the services dominated by the state-run and unprofitable Zeleznice Srbije.

The changes open the market for passenger and cargo services for which the Belgrade-based Directorate for Railways will issue licenses and security certificates, according to the document, passed in the capital Belgrade today. The directorate will set rates for using the railway infrastructure, which will be managed by a public company and local authorities.

The government also plans to split Zeleznice into units that will handle infrastructure, transportation and asset management, as part of efforts to adapt Serbia’s legislation to the European Union. The Balkan nation expects to get a date next month for starting entry talks with the bloc.

Serbia aims to curb spending on state companies including Zeleznice. The monopoly gets 14.6 billion-dinar ($170 million) support from the budget this year, after posting a 16.5 billion-dinar loss in 2012. The government said the new law will improve efficiency and help integrate Serbia’s rail network with neighbors and with the EU.

May 13, 2013 - Country Partnership Strategy for the Period FY12-FY15

Serbia has passed through a period of dramatic change. At the time the Board considered the Progress Report for the FY08-FY11 Serbia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), the country was managing a rapidly changing political and economic environment. A new, reform oriented government committed to European Union (EU) accession confronted the politically sensitive issue of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence and the unfolding of the global economic and financial crisis. Serbia's overriding challenge is to consolidate macroeconomic stability to strengthen its resilience against euro zone turmoil. The second risk would be a weakening of commitment to policy reform as a result of the elections; this could slow EU accession and disrupt the Bank's programmatic Development Policy Loan (DPL) series. A related challenge will be to guard against deepening frustration with the protracted waiting period for EU membership (which could last a decade) that now follows October's recommendation for candidate status. Third, there are implementation risks stemming from the lack of capacity of public institutions responsible for the reforms under DPLs and executing Bank financed projects. These risks are mitigated by the current government's strong record and the recognition by major parties that domestic and external events will continue to demand prudence.

Serbia Forgoing Snap Election as Economy Spurs Concern, NIN Says

Serbia has passed through a period of dramatic change. At the time the Board considered the Progress Report for the FY08-FY11 Serbia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), the country was managing a rapidly changing political and economic environment. A new, reform oriented government committed to European Union (EU) accession confronted the politically sensitive issue of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence and the unfolding of the global economic and financial crisis. Serbia's overriding challenge is to consolidate macroeconomic stability to strengthen its resilience against euro zone turmoil. The second risk would be a weakening of commitment to policy reform as a result of the elections; this could slow EU accession and disrupt the Bank's programmatic Development Policy Loan (DPL) series. A related challenge will be to guard against deepening frustration with the protracted waiting period for EU membership (which could last a decade) that now follows October's recommendation for candidate status. Third, there are implementation risks stemming from the lack of capacity of public institutions responsible for the reforms under DPLs and executing Bank financed projects. These risks are mitigated by the current government's strong record and the recognition by major parties that domestic and external events will continue to demand prudence.

 

World Bank Helps Serbia Improve Over 800 Km of Its National Roads

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a total of US$100 million to help Serbia improve road infrastructure and road safety. Better national roads will enhance Serbia’s competitiveness and provide people with easier and safer access to jobs, markets, and social services.

The new Road Rehabilitation and Safety Project will contribute to the financing of periodic maintenance and rehabilitation works, partial pavement widening, works concerning traffic signalization improvement and structure renewal, as well ancillary road connections for 35 – 40 sections, totaling 800 – 810 km in length. In addition, it will provide signage, traffic calming measures, and road furniture for an additional 1,000 km of national roads, further raising the safety of Serbian roads. The project is also designed in a way to incentivize the implementation of maintenance management reforms.

SWITZERLAND

 May 22, 2013 - Switzerland is facing mounting pressure finally to abandon its long tradition of banking secrecy. The United States has already told the Swiss government it expects Swiss banks to provide the US authorities with automatic information about US clients.

 

Now the European Union is demanding the automatic exchange of information too, a policy non-EU-member Switzerland will have difficulty avoiding if it wants access to Europe's financial markets.

But giving up banking secrecy is likely to be a painful process for the Swiss. While other countries see the practice as a way to hide the ill-gotten profits of crime, corruption, or tax evasion, in Switzerland it is viewed as an honourable policy which illustrates the relation of trust between state and citizen.

"The origin of Swiss banking secrecy... is really a professional secrecy like that of a doctor or a lawyer," explains Michel DeRobert, head of the Association of Swiss Private Bankers.

 

TAJIKISTAN

17 July 2013 - Tajik President, World Bank official discuss cooperation

BBC Monitoring Central Asia

Today [17 July], Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has met the World Bank [WB] Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of the President, Laura Frigenti, who this autumn will take over the post of the World Bank Regional Vice-President for the countries of Europe and Central Asia.

The Tajik presidential press service reports that, as part of her visit, the WB official is going to meet heads of Central Asian countries and directly to become acquainted with issues of cooperation and ways to support the development of this region.

"During the meeting a special attention was drawn to cooperation with Tajikistan in priority sectors including climate change, providing sufficient access to water and electricity, maintaining food security, creating new jobs as well as improving the people's welfare on the whole," the Tajik presidential press service said.

The press service also said that, over the past 20 years of bilateral cooperation, the World Bank Group has granted soft loans, grants and technical assistance worth over 900m dollars to support sustainable development in Tajikistan

"Confidence was expressed that further cooperation will also be fruitful and will actively contribute to Tajikistan's further socio-economic development," the press service said.

TURKMENISTAN

 

THE ROAD OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION
Kazakhstan – Turkmenistan – Iran Railroad completed
December 10, 2014

After gaining independence and neutrality, Turkmenistan has determined its primary task as improving business partnerships with other countries on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Economic stability of all sectors is achieved via well-developed transport system, and the rail transport constitutes the basis of the whole transport system.

After the independence, the railroad industry had the most important task: to satisfy the needs of the state in the provision of transport. For the rapid development of all sectors of the economy, a powerful railroad was needed, as existing one did not meet the needs of the state.

Due to the favorable geographical position Turkmenistan in antiquity used to be called the "Crossroads of seven roads." Turkmenistan is a major transport terminal in continental terms that will bring the country considerable economic benefits from transit, as well as serve the further development of comprehensive international cooperation. Currently, many countries, particularly in Asia, are interested in transporting goods to Iran and to other Persian Gulf ports.

On December 3, 2014, railway Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran (North-South corridor) was launched with the participation of the presidents of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Iran. The initiative of laying down transport corridor North - South, was announced by the President of Turkmenistan in 2007. North - south railroad will be the road of friendship and cooperation, which will connect neighboring countries - Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran. The first section of the new railway line - from the station Uzen (Kazakhstan) to the town of Bereket (Turkmenistan) - was put into operation in May 2013. The presidents of the two countries opened a direct rail connection between the two countries on the border crossing station Bolashak (Kazakhstan) and the station Serhetyaka (Turkmenistan).

The length of the new railway "Kazakhstan - Turkmenistan - Iran" is more than 900 km. Experts in the field of international transport believe that with the commissioning of this road the length of the international path connecting the Persian Gulf and Europe will be reduced by 600 km. 82 km of this railway pass through the territory of Iran, 700 km - through the territory of Turkmenistan and 120 kilometers - in Kazakhstan. Turkmen part of the road is the longest, accounting for 444 km and the biggest part - 256 km cross through Bereket (former Kazanzhik) to Etrek (Kyzyl-Etrek). With the opening of the North – South railway, the time of transport and transit of goods are expected to be reduced by two days and lower the cost of transportation.

 

The annual freight turnover on this railroad is expected to be around 10-12 million tons. Initially, it is expected that the bulk of the cargo will be oil products and Kazakh grain, as well as Chinese goods produced in the western part of China and exported to Iran or through Iran.

Turkmenistan will continue to pursue an active transport policy, aimed at addressing the global challenges facing the international community in the context of sustainable development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UZBEKISTAN

 

 

 

UZagriculture

"WASHINGTON, April 4, 2013" - Looking Beyond the Horizon: How Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Responses Will Reshape Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

, offers new insights and adaptation options for the agricultural sector in Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan. According to the book, temperatures in Uzbekistan are expected to increase by 2 to 3 Celsius over the next 50 years – well above the increase of about 1.5 C observed in the country over the last 50 years. Additionally, incidents of extreme heat have been reported by farmers, while average annual rainfall is forecast to fall by about 10 mm in the highlands and increase by 40 to 50 mm in the desert areas of the country.

Building on these projections, this book offers impact assessments of climate change on agriculture for the country. If no adaptation measures are taken beyond changing planting dates in response to climate change, and taking reduced water availability into account, nearly all crop yields could fall 20 to 50 percent by 2050. Yields of wheat and cotton, key commodity crops for Uzbekistan, will decline along with decreased yield of apples, potatoes and tomatoes. Grassland and alfalfa yields, however, are expected to show better yields. Since nearly all crops are irrigated in Uzbekistan, and with an expected increase in water demand from municipal and industrial sectors through economic expansion, it will be important to manage water resources, as with the other countries mentioned in the book. Uzbekistan is teaming up with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to pilot some recommendations and is addressing some other options raised in the report in a new agriculture competitiveness project, as well as a series of irrigation projects.

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Apr 18, 2013World Bank Group Goals: End Extreme Poverty and Promote Shared Prosperity (brochure)
Apr 01, 2013Food Price Watch March 2013
Mar 14, 20132013 Spring Meetings internal website
Mar 13, 2013Peer Review Services Annual Report FY2012
Jan 18, 2013Global Economic Prospects - January 2013: Assuring Growth Over the Medium Term

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 UZBEKISTAN

 

 

 

UZagriculture

"WASHINGTON, April 4, 2013" - Looking Beyond the Horizon: How Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Responses Will Reshape Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

, offers new insights and adaptation options for the agricultural sector in Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan. According to the book, temperatures in Uzbekistan are expected to increase by 2 to 3 Celsius over the next 50 years – well above the increase of about 1.5 C observed in the country over the last 50 years. Additionally, incidents of extreme heat have been reported by farmers, while average annual rainfall is forecast to fall by about 10 mm in the highlands and increase by 40 to 50 mm in the desert areas of the country.

Building on these projections, this book offers impact assessments of climate change on agriculture for the country. If no adaptation measures are taken beyond changing planting dates in response to climate change, and taking reduced water availability into account, nearly all crop yields could fall 20 to 50 percent by 2050. Yields of wheat and cotton, key commodity crops for Uzbekistan, will decline along with decreased yield of apples, potatoes and tomatoes. Grassland and alfalfa yields, however, are expected to show better yields. Since nearly all crops are irrigated in Uzbekistan, and with an expected increase in water demand from municipal and industrial sectors through economic expansion, it will be important to manage water resources, as with the other countries mentioned in the book. Uzbekistan is teaming up with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to pilot some recommendations and is addressing some other options raised in the report in a new agriculture competitiveness project, as well as a series of irrigation projects.

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Apr 18, 2013World Bank Group Goals: End Extreme Poverty and Promote Shared Prosperity (brochure)
Apr 01, 2013Food Price Watch March 2013
Mar 14, 20132013 Spring Meetings internal website
Mar 13, 2013Peer Review Services Annual Report FY2012
Jan 18, 2013Global Economic Prospects - January 2013: Assuring Growth Over the Medium Term

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Last updated: 2014-12-10




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